(National) Education Politics

Via The Huffington Post: “White House Quietly Removes Sexual Assault Report From Website.”

Via Politico: “Trump and DeVos fuel a for-profit college comeback.”

Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “For-Profit Colleges Find Few Reasons to Lobby a Friendlier Education Dept.”

The Department of Education has selected Julian Schmoke, a former administrator at the for-profit DeVry University, to lead the its student-aid enforcement unit. (Just last year, Devry agreed to a $100 million settlement with the FTC for misleading students through deceptive advertising.) Via The Atlantic: “What a New Trump Administration Hire Could Mean for For-Profit Colleges.” “Education Dept. Appointee’s For-Profit Past Draws Flak, but It’s Complicated,” The Chronicle of Higher Education says. More from Pacific Standard and from Inside Higher Ed.

More on Candice Jackson’s resume in The Chronicle of Higher Education.

(State and Local) Education Politics

On Hurricane Harvey: Dana Goldstein in The New York Times: “School Closings From Harvey Threaten Disruption Across Texas.” Via The Chronicle of Higher Education: “Colleges Announce Closings as Harvey Pounds Texas Coast.”

Via Edsurge: “​A Fight for Internet Access Is Brewing in Alaska.”

Via Bookriot: “On Wednesday, August 23, the city council of Escondido, California voted, 3 to 2, to move forward with plans to hand their public library over to the private, for-profit company Library Systems and Services.”

Immigration and Education

Via The Guardian: “Trump order could give immigration agents a foothold in US schools.”

Edsurge profiles the tuition-free online university University of the People, claiming it has a particular appeal to undocumented immigrants and refugees.

Education in the Courts

Via CNN: “The famed science enthusiast filed suit against Disney (DIS) on Thursday, claiming the media giant hoodwinked him out of more than $9 million in earnings from ‘Bill Nye the Science Guy.’”

Via Inside Higher Ed: “Umair Hamid has been sentenced to 21 months in prison and was ordered to forfeit about $5.3 million for his role in an international diploma mill scheme operated by the Pakistani company Axact, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.”

Via The New York Times: “Three Chinese Women Reach U.S. Plea Deals Over College Exam Scam.” The exam: TOEFL.

Testing, Testing…

Via The LA Times: “California’s standardized test score results delayed indefinitely due to ‘data issue’.”

More on testing (and fraud) in the courts section above.

The “New” For-Profit Higher Ed

Via Inside Higher Ed: “For-profit Charlotte School of Law and its parent company, InfiLaw, were under criminal investigation as they sought to negotiate restoration of federal student aid for Charlotte students, according to recently unsealed court filings from a whistle-blower lawsuit filed against the school.”

Via The Charlotte Observer: “Under DeVos, who’s the next Charlotte School of Law?”

“An insider’s take on the future of coding bootcampsby Darrell Silver.

More on for-profit higher ed and its infiltration of the Trump Administration in the national politics section above. More on layoffs at coding bootcamps in the HR section below. And more on bootcamp research in the research section below.

Meanwhile on Campus…

Via Politico: “My Weekend at the Falwells’ South Beach Flophouse.” Inside Higher Ed has a response from Liberty University.

And speaking of Liberty University, Anthony Scaramucci will be speaking at the school’s convocation.

Via Education Week: “Facebook Giving Virtual-Reality Kits to Every Arkansas High School.”

Boston University and Wheelock College enter talks to combine the institutions,” Inside Higher Ed reports.

Go, School Sports Team!

Via The New York Times: “Videos of Girls Forced to Do Splits at Cheer Camp Lead to Coach’s Firing.”

From the HR Department

Via Techcrunch: “In the newest sign of a shakeout in coding boot camps, Galvanize is laying off 11 percent of staffers.”

The Business of Job Training

“So, What IS the Future of Work?” asks Edsurge as it covers a symposium at Stanford University. Surely an elite private university MUST hold the answer! (No disclosure in this post when it mentions its investor Deborah Quazzo.)

This Week in Betteridge’s Law of Headlines

Can Banning Phones in School Curb Cyberbullying?asks Education Week.

Can This MIT Student Entrepreneurship Program Bridge the Israeli-Palestinian Divide?asks Edsurge.

(Reminder: according to Betteridge’s Law of Headlines, “Any headline that ends in a question mark can be answered by the word no.”)

Upgrades and Downgrades

The New York Times broke the news this week that New America ousted its Open Markets team after it praised a recent EU fine against Google: “Google Critic Ousted From Think Tank Funded by the Tech Giant.” New America has received more than $21 million from Google. “ We Said Google Was Dangerously Powerful, Then Google Proved Us Right,” writes Open Markets’ Matt Stoller in Buzzfeed. “ Google is coming after critics in academia and journalism. It’s time to stop them,” writes Zephyr Teachout in The Washington Post. She also has a piece in The Intercept: “How I Got Fired From a D.C. Think Tank for Fighting Against the Power of Google.” “Yes, Google Uses Its Power to Quash Ideas It Doesn’t Like – I Know Because It Happened to Me,” writes Kashmir Hill in Gizmodo. Google’s power and influence has immense implications for the future of “information” and scholarship, and if you think education (and education technology) is immune from this sort of influence, you are really not paying attention. Google gives money to many, many education organizations, including CoSN, Khan Academy, and the ALA.

“Please let The Friendship Code and its tech-savvy girls be the new Baby-Sitters Club,” writes Techcrunch’s Devin Coldewey, although he admits he has never read any of The Baby-Sitters Club books.

Via The AP: “Learning software in classrooms earns praise, causes debate.”

Via Pacific Standard: “Pepe the Frog Creator Shuts Down Publication of Alt-Right Children’s Book.”

Via Techcrunch: “Amazon adds parental consent to Alexa skills aimed at children, launches first legal kids’ skills.”

Edsurge looks at the latest from Kahoot – “Kahoot Studio, a curated library of ready-to-play kahoot games for K–12 educators and their students” – and notes that the company, which has raised $26.5 million in venture capital is “ramping up for revenue.”

Edsurge looks at the latest from the messaging app Remind: “Remind’s Race to Conquer the K–12 Communications Market – and Make Money.”

Skidos offers an SDK to turn mobile games into ‘learning apps’,” says Techcrunch, really underscoring how Silicon Valley believes anything can be easily turned into “ed-tech.”

Robots and Other Ed-Tech SF

Via The New York Times: “The Secret to a Good Robot Teacher.”

Via Campus Technology: “AI Chatbot Hubert Talks to Students to Collect Course Feedback.”

Via Education Dive: “AI, analytics transforming guidance counselors’ roles.”

(Venture) Philanthropy and the Business of Ed Reform

Via Techcrunch: “Black Girls Code says it turned down $125,000 from Uber.”

Venture Capital and the Business of Ed-Tech

BYJU’s has raised $40 million from Tencent Holdings. The test prep company has raised $244 million total.

The English language learning company Magic Ears has raised $6 million in venture funding from Bob Xu ZhenEdu Fund and Yuanfudao.

The game-based learning company Sumdog has raised $1.8 million from Nesta Impact Investments and the Scottish Investment Bank.

Flipd has raised an undisclosed amount of money from Ryerson Futures Inc and Candice Faktor. The company, which allows teachers to reminds students turn off their phone in class, also lets them “see data that measures when students used their phones, and give incentives or rewards to the ones who stayed attentive” – which all sounds pretty terrible.

The Advisory Board Company has sold off its education business, EAB, to Vista Equity Partners. (The private equity firm acquired PowerSchool in 2015.)

Privacy, Surveillance, and Information Security

Via Ladders: “New app scans your face and tells companies whether you’re worth hiring.” The app is from HireVue, which boasts many schools and universities as clients.

Via In The Black: “Curtin University has teamed with Hitachi Data Systems to create a ‘data-gathering laboratory’ that it hopes will improve the student experience.” 1600 cameras. Facial recognition software. “Except where specific consent is given, data collected is not linked to an individual,” the article reads – except that it also says facial recognition software is used to take attendance, so obviously students are compelled to hand over their personal data.

Via Find Biometrics: “Singapore Schools to Connect Student Accounts to Fingerprints.”

Via Edsurge: “Amazon Pushes Echo Smart Speakers on Campus.”

Muckrock is investigating how schools monitor students’ online behavior.

Via Naked Security: “Are you a student? Your personal data is there for the asking.”

Via the EFF: “Student Privacy Tips for Teachers.” Also via the EFF: “Student Privacy Tips for Students.”

Via The Conversation: “The rise in personalised story books and what it means for children’s privacy.”

Via The Edmonton Journal: “MacEwan University loses $11.8 million to scammers in phishing attack.”

Research, “Research,” and Reports

Via New America: “Varying Degrees.” More on the report from Bryan Alexander. (And more about New America in the upgrades/downgrades section above.)

Via Techcrunch: “Tech industry and comp-sci majors are highest earners, says LinkedIn job survey.” Highest earners among those who completed the survey, of course.

Via The Digital Reader: “Why Textbook Publishers Are Running Scared: Survey Shows College Textbook Spending Dropped 17% Since 2007.”

Via Campus Technology: “Student loan debt in the United States has grown 149 percent over the last decade to reach $1.4 trillion, according to a new report from Experian.”

A report from Ithaka S+R: “Inclusion, Diversity, and Equity: Members of the Association of Research Libraries.”

Via The NYT: “The Biggest Misconception About Today’s College Students.”

The latest K–12 Horizon Report (and my response).

Via Campus Technology: “Wearables generated $30.5 billion this year, with smartwatches raking in roughly a third of total sales, according to a new Gartner forecast.”

“So-called ‘coding boot camps’ are often pitched as an alternative to four-year degree programs. Yet new research suggests this is more often not the case and that such boot camp programs are increasingly acting as an auxiliary to college degrees,” write James Bowring, Louise Ann Lyon and Quinn Burke in Inside Higher Ed.

“What I Learned From Researching Coding Bootcampsby Kyle Thayer.

The 2017 Phi Delta Kappa International (PDK) Poll of the Public’s Attitudes Toward the Public Schools (and responses from NEA).

Stirling University’s Ben Williamson on ClassDojo: “Fast psycho-policy & the datafication of social-emotional learning.”

Via The Daily Beast: “Peter Thiel Funds ‘Unethical’ Offshore Herpes Vaccine Trial.” Aren’t you thrilled that venture capitalists want to experiment on education too?

Icon credits: The Noun Project

Audrey Watters


Hack Education

The History of the Future of Education Technology

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